Boot/Shoe

Oak Street Bootmakers: Rebuilding the Footwear Landscape

By Gene Fowler There are many steps in building a handmade shoe. Longtime Chicago-area shoe repairman John Vlagos chuckles recalling his reaction upon first learning that his son, George, was starting the handmade footwear business, Oak Street Bootmakers. “I freaked out, you know,” says the father, with obvious pride in his son’s success. Founded in 2010, Oak Street ships its trench boots, penny loafers, camp mocs and other styles—made in
Boot/Shoe

“Ah, Wilderness!”

Alkahest Moccasins & Leathercrafts — custom-made goods hand-built in the wild heart of Oregon’s high alpine country Alkahest Leather founders Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek at an art fair. By Lynn Ascrizzi Eight years ago, on a fine spring day, Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek set out on a life-changing, 350-mile odyssey, driving from San Francisco to Ashland, Oregon, in a tiny, Chevy Geo Metro. “We had it packed with